Rural Hunger in America

Learn more about rural hunger and the research done in collaboration with Feeding America and No Kid Hungry

Anne picking flowers

There are individuals struggling to get by in every community across the country, but both poverty and food insecurity tend to be higher among residents of rural communities. In rural communities, many people lack enough resources to obtain the food they need due to factors including economic instability, financial insecurity, transportation barriers, and limited access to affordable food. 

To better understand what makes it easier or harder for families in rural areas to provide food for their kids, Feeding America partnered with No Kid Hungry and a team of researchers from six universities, led by North Carolina State University, on an in-depth qualitative study. The team of researchers conducted in-depth interviews in six rural counties located across six states in order to examine families’ experiences and identify potential solutions to improve food insecurity.

Key Findings from the report done in collaboration with No Kid Hungry

1. Poverty rates are higher in rural communities, and 84% of U.S. counties with the highest percentage of food insecure children are rural.

2. The job market in suburbs and cities has long since recovered from the Great Recession, but job growth remains limited in rural counties and small towns.

3. More rural counties also experience “persistent poverty” than urban communities—high rates of poverty over a long period. Nearly 90% of counties experiencing long-term poverty have entirely rural populations.


Along with the research done on families in rural areas, Feeding America has done extensive research on rural hunger in the Map the Meal Gap.


Learn More About Rural Hunger 

Rural Hunger Facts


Rural Hunger Stats


- of rural households were food insecure

9 out of 10

- counties with the highest food insecurity rates are rural


- Food security rate in rural communities versus 12.9% in urban areas.